This was suggested to me by a life long friend – a foodie who shares my sentiments about food; namely, how do we balance healthy eating with all of the wonderful, delicious options out there? So in college I carried an extra 15 pounds on my frame. I played field hockey, defense to be exact, and bigger was generally considered better. Post college? Not so much. I started working out on my own for the first time (meaning without a coach telling me to) and with that, tried to reign in the french fries and mocha lattes.
I signed up for the Hungry Girl emails and learned a bunch of tricks and tips. She was a fan of sugar/free fat/free pudding, though, and after I started teaching FACS (home ec) I figured I had to practice what I preach – eating whole foods. I still have caveats, for instance I should buy whole wheat wraps with less than five ingredients, but I’m a sucker for the ones made by “Flat out” or “La Tortilla Factory” because they’re low calorie, high fiber and high protein.
I will say, though, that it’s really really hard to eat well. When I walk around the supermarket I omit entire aisles that are filled with packaged, processed foods. Because of this omission, I spend a lot of time in the kitchen. If you don’t have the time to spend cooking or really don’t enjoy it, it can be tricky to navigate the options. Also, even with healthy eating most of the time (80-20 is my thang) I feel like I’m always thisclose to gaining the weight back. I say it all the time, “you can’t relax for a second”. It’s not easy. I figure it’s easy for some people? Not for me, though.
I’ll show you what I eat here, but I only really photographed my meals. I’ll fill in the snacks with words (because seven pictures of “small handful of chocolate chips” would get old).
Breakfast: Usually some form of fruit, dairy (Greek yogurt or cottage cheese) and a fat – chia or flax seeds. Sometimes I have a spinach smoothie (frozen banana, powdered pb, vegan choco protein powder, flax seed, spinach and almond milk). If I’m trying to balance out some poor choices from the day before, I’ll have egg whites scrambled with cheese and spinach. If I have an avocado to spare I’ll have avocado mashed on Ezekiel bread with salted sunflower seeds on top.
This particular morning my husband had gone on an early morning coffee date with his mom, so he brought me a “venti nonfat misto, extra coffee, dark roast, 2 pumps sugar free caramel”. I texted him. Paired with peach, lowfat organic cottage cheese, and ground flax seed. I had half a double chocolate zucchini muffin.
Lunch: Usually I have some sort of eggs and toast, a salad with chicken or tuna, a slaw with chicken (this one I make all the time) , or in the fall/winter, soup. While I’m making this meal I’m usually starving and/or making the kids lunch. Along with my own (healthy) lunch I end up eating the crust from the kids sandwiches. If I have it in my fridge I’ll snack on carrots and hummus while I cook, but if there are leftover chips of any sort you better believe I’m finishing that bag before I even get to my lunch (which is why I try to keep them out of the house).
This is what lunch looked like today – a salad with chicken (I thawed a small bag of cooked, leftover chicken from my freezer). Dressing was 2 parts olive oil, 1 part balsamic, equal (small) parts Dijon mustard and honey. I snacked on carrots/hummus and ate a wrap (Flat out). Prior to eating this was the crusts of two sandwiches and about a pound of watermelon.
Here is another lunch I snapped from yesterday – a (deconstructed) omelette with toasted corn (a blog recipe from the day before), goat cheese and arugula.
I was home for the rest of the day, and it was raining. This ensured a slow trail of eating. I had to cook for the upcoming vacation, so I made (and snacked on) spicy orange chicken and brown rice (to freeze), along with a batch of coconut granola.
A very typical snack, something I almost always have in my fridge, are the pecan pie bars. If I don’t have them I’ll snack on peanuts, almonds, apples, cheese sticks, or Ezekiel toast with a bit of coconut oil and strawberry jelly. Again, if there are tortilla chips in the pantry they wouldn’t make it through naptime.
I’m sipping on my decaf, unsweetened mint tea that I try to keep in my fridge, pretty much all day. If no tea, I’ll make hot tea (decaf tetley with truvia and 2% milk) or seltzer (I have a seltzer maker but Polar brand has some amazing new flavors – the mango one is boss).
I should also say that today I had about half a sleeve of honey graham crackers (leftover from smores making) and multiple (small) handfuls of Ghirardelli dark chocolate chips while moving around my kitchen. Let’s be real here.
Dinner was a burger (bun-less) with grilled onions, avocado and salad greens. All covered with an olive oil/balsamic quick dressing.
The best! I usually eat this for “lunch dessert” as well. This ice cream is fab – any flavor from the line. Love it. I eat straight from the carton (#truth) but probably eat two servings (1 cup).
If/when I feel like I’m creepin on the scale (I don’t weigh myself but every few weeks), ice cream is the first to go. I’ll buy Rich Klondike bars because they don’t call to me the same way. I also try to limit the tortillas/bread/rice. Also – alcohol gets limited to weekends/social events.
Questions? Comments? Suggestions? Please let me know!! Wonder what my kids eat? Coming on Thursday!